Posted by: kerryl29 | May 4, 2020

Hawaii, Day 14: Aloha

[If you’re wondering why I’m detailing photographic experiences on this blog as if a pandemic wasn’t ravaging the planet, click here.  Be sure to read the comments.]

The final full day of last year’s trip to Hawaii–and the last day of photography, period–began as the previous day, had:  at Papawai Point.  It was my third daybreak at the point, but good early morning spots are limited on the west coast of Maui.  I didn’t get anything remotely like the previous day’s sunrise, but there was a brief moment where the sky above Haleakala lit up.

Papawai Point Dawn, Maui, Hawaii

Brilliant as it was, the effect didn’t last very long and there were only a few other images to be made at this spot that morning.

Sunrise Over Haleakala, Papawai Point, Maui, Hawaii

One of those images was of the sky to the north, above the hill across the road.

Papawai Point Dawn, Maui, Hawaii

Another was of the view to the west, featuring the island of Lanai in the background.

Papawai Point Morning, Maui, Hawaii

When I was done at the point, I made the drive north along the West Maui coast to Ka’anapali.  On both of my previous visits to Maui, roughly 40 years prior, we’d stayed at Ka’anapali.  Needless to say, it has changed a bit over the past four decades.  I strolled up and down the pedestrian walkway, adjacent to the beach, and found a few things that caught my attention.

Ka’anapali Beach Black & White, Maui, Hawaii

Palm Morning, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Rainbow Sail, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Boats Black & White, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Ka’anapali Beach Morning, Maui, Hawaii

One of the Ka’anapali Beach hotels–I think it was the Hyatt but I won’t swear to it–had a number of birds wandering around on its property.  I photographed a few of them from the walkway.

Mute Swan, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Ducks, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Black Swan, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Black Swan, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Flamingo, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Flamingo, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii

I headed the short distance north, up to Kapalua, and spent more time on the trail that I’d only had a short opportunity to explore several days prior.  This time I spent several hours poking around, and covered a couple of miles of the rugged seaside along the Kapalua Coastal Trail.

Kapalua Coastal Trail, Maui, Hawaii

Kapalua Coastal Trail Black & White, Maui, Hawaii

Note the natural “swimming pools” in the image below.  They’re probably pretty enticing as long as a rogue wave, aided by an incoming tide, doesn’t swamp them.

Kapalua Coastal Trail, Maui, Hawaii

When I was done on the trail, it was early afternoon.  I drove back south, through Lahaina, and stopped at a spot I’d driven past three or four times since I’d been on the island.  Ukumahame Beach stretches right along the Hanoapillani Highway (HI-30), and there’s one spot where the trees and the surf meet.  I pulled off the road.  The light was pretty harsh, but I thought it would work for black and white conversions, so I set up and made several images of the scene.  I even left one image in color, just to provide a contrasting (see what I did there?) view.

Ukumahame Beach Black & White, Maui, Hawaii

Ukumahame Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Ukumahame Beach Black & White, Maui, Hawaii

It was still fairly early in the afternoon after this brief stop and I drove back to my lodgings in Kihei.  The hotel I was staying at sits right on Keawakapu Beach.  At about three in the afternoon I wandered, shoeless (and gearless), out on to the beach, which stretches uninterrupted for miles to the south and just walked in the shallow water, until I didn’t feel like walking anymore.  Then I turned around and headed back in the direction of my starting point.

When I was a kid, I spent countless hours in the ocean; it was a significant part of my formative years.  During my walk on Keawakapu Beach and points south that day, I tried to remember when I had last gone swimming in the ocean and I realized, after much effort, that it had been on my last trip to Hawaii, in 1980.  I had not yet turned 16 years old; I hadn’t been in the ocean for 39 years!

Until that day.  Late that afternoon, I spent 30 glorious minutes remembering, through experience, what it was like to dodge waves and frolic in the surf.  It might have been the best choice I made on the entire trip.  (The best decision I made before the trip might have been to buy a pair of bathing trunks, which made bathing a possibility.)

The mood had been set.  When I was done in the water, I walked back to my hotel, rinsed off the sand, changed clothes and wandered back out to the rocky area on Keawakapu Beach to see what kind of a sunset there would be.  It was a bit of an anticlimax, but I wasn’t sorry that I’d headed out one last time

Keawakapu Beach at Sunset, Maui, Hawaii

West Maui from Keawakapu Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Keawakapu Beach Black & White, Maui, Hawaii

Keawakapu Beach at Dusk, Maui, Hawaii

Keawakapu Beach at Sunset, Maui, Hawaii

Keawakapu Beach Sunset, Maui, Hawaii

And with that, the final day of photography on the trip to Hawaii was over; I had a red-eye flight back to the mainland the following day.  I had hoped to get back to the islands at some point in the next couple of years to photograph the wonders of the Big Island and Molokai, but I hadn’t even developed a serious plan for doing so and with the uncertainty of travel given the pandemic, all such thoughts are on indefinite hold.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of Hawaii vicariously through my eyes.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time at Big Bend National Park in west Texas in early February, before virus-related concerns shut things down in the United States.  I’ll turn the blog’s attention to that experience in the coming weeks.

Please be smart in your actions and stay healthy.



  1. Kerry, thanks for these Hawaii posts. I’ve enjoyed all of them, and found them informative and interesting. We were last there slightly before you, in Sep 1979. I have mixed feelings about a return. I’d love to see the islands again, but I also know there has been a tremendous amount of development in some of the places we most enjoyed, so I’m a bit apprehensive about what we’ll find now. For example, the hotel we loved on Maui had nothing around it, but I understand all that vacant land has been developed with more hotels, etc. It will feel very different. I hope we’ll enjoy it as much next time — if we ever get on a plane again .

    • Thanks, Steve. No doubt, the change over four decades has been dramatic; it was at least as significant on Kauai as on Maui. (I was first there in 1978 and then returned in 1980.)

      If plane (or any) travel seems safe again…presumably it will at some point, but, realistically, who knows when that will be? It makes me wonder what will happen to a place like Hawaii, where the economy is almost entirely dependent on tourism and almost all visitors arrive by plane…

  2. I was just wondering to myself whether you had gone swimming when the next paragraph says you did. I’m glad. I think one thing that has surprised me the most about Hawaii through your photographs is the rocky coastline. Having never been to Hawaii, I guess I never thought about rocks vs sandy beaches that are commonly portrayed in the postcard shots. I know these are volcanic islands, but I don’t think I gave it much thought before. Nice to know there is such variety in the landscape. Thanks for taking us along.

    • Thanks, Ellen. Yeah, it was nice to get back in the ocean again. I had to run through the chronology in my head multiple times before I could convince myself that it really had been since 1980 that I’d been in the ocean anywhere.

      Much of the coastline on all of the islands (at least the four I’ve been on over the years) is quite rocky in places. There absolutely are long stretches of sand in quite a few places, but rocky outcroppings are common and some areas of coastline are dominated by rocky edifices. Almost the entire shoreline of northwest Maui fits this description, for instance.

      The Hawaiian islands really are a remarkably beautiful, diverse place, and a terrific location to photograph, IMO.

  3. Lovely place…. I miss my traveling…. Hopefully will start in next month….

    • Thanks!

      I hope we’re all able to start traveling again sooner than later, though next month seems pretty ambitious…

  4. Oh goodness, these are just beautiful pictures, thank you so much for sharing them and bringing a touch of Hawaii to my apartment!

  5. It’s been great to return to Hawaii, with your help. It’s very sobering, as you wrote, to try to imagine the hardships these travel restrictions will cause for places like this.

    • Thanks, Gary.

      Yeah, this isn’t like the hit that tourism-dependent places take during an economic slowdown, so I can’t help but wonder what the long-term effects are going to be.

  6. awesomely done kerry….what an art….

    • Thanks very much!

Please feel free to comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: